Into the Heart of Healing
Hippocrates was generally considered to be the “Father of
Western Medicine”. He was born on the Greek island of Kos in
the year 460 B.C. He taught there at a healing centre which was
called an asklepion. Hippocrates was often considered to be a
human manifestation of the Greek God of Healing, Asklepios.
He also taught at the healing centres on the island of Rhodes,
at Delphi and at Eleusis, which is just outside of Athens. I have
visited and meditated at all of these. There were about 400
asklepions throughout Greece during Hippocrates life. He taught
at many of them. He realized the extremely high value of a
retreat into natural surroundings as an integral part of healing.
He, like myself, and many of my Partners in Healing today did not
believe in the arbitrary boundary between “body”, “mind”, “Spirit”
and “environment”! He, and I and many Partners in Healing
believe in the Psyche and that everything is holographically
inter-connected. We generally follow the principles
of “contextual healing”. “Psycho” has to do with, “What is
wrong?” Psyche is about, “What is the perturbance in Field?”
Because Hippocrates challenged the high priests of his times
with reason, scientific hypotheses, symptoms, case histories and
prognosis he was imprisoned for 20 years. The highly controlling
religious zealots of that time believed in the superstitions that
disease was a punishment inflicted by the gods. They claimed
that Hippocrates had caused his child to be stillborn because
of evil ideas that he had concocted. In that valuable time in
prison he wrote the book, Hippocratic Corpus, which set out
the Hippocratic Oath for physicians. By Hippocrates’ espoused
standards most modern day physicians would not be licensed
to be a physician by Hippocrates himself. He did not believe in
a specific diagnosis! The word “di-a-gnosis”, in Greek, means
two people who do not know what they are doing! He believed
in “di-a-logue”, two Partners in Healing “logging in” with each
other. He did not believe in surgery and the use of drugs except
in extreme cases. He believed in “the healing power of nature”.
He extolled the virtues of foods such as honey, barley and yogurt.
Hippocrates taught us to ascertain or discern the perturbance in
the Field or to figure out what is “right about” the existence of
the perturbance. The perturbance then becomes a messenger of
an adjustment that our Psyche needs to make to become healed.
Hippocrates’ father and grandfather were both veterinarians
and both learned a great deal about anatomy from autopsies on
horses. Rhodes was a centre of trading horses in the eastern
Mediterranean. It would have been like the Detroit of its time but
with real “horse power”. The Greek word “hippos” means horse.
Physicians of humans were not allowed to do autopsies in those
days but Hippocrates could learn about physiology and anatomy
by observing his elders working with sick and/or dead horses.
Hippocrates keen sense of observation stopped a horrendous
plague that swept through Athens. He discovered that it
was water-borne and that boiling the water would eventually
eradicate the spread of the viruses.
Interestingly there is virtually no mention of “mental illness”
in all the vast writings of Hippocrates! For Hippocrates the
perturbance was almost visible if the physician was able to
create a “safe container” with the perturbed person. Essentially
the Partners in Healing would enter into a SUPRA-conscious
state similar to a hypnotic trance state. The vagus nerve (of
the parasympathetic nervous system) would then be activated
by many relaxation techniques releasing theta brain waves into
each partners’ Psyche. In this theta state healing was optimized.
Unfortunately Sigmund Freud, with the use of cocaine (SUPER-
conscious), altered the Greek Psyche into the very destructive
marketing concept of the “subconscious”. The present
day movie, “Dangerous Method”, aptly depicts how Freud
manipulated and projected onto the western world HIS BELIEF in
yet another evil little gremlin that is out to get all of us.
Hippocrates and most Greeks believed in the god Khaos (an
emotional genius) and in the god Kairos (transcendent of time).
May you fly high and please keep in touch with “ground control”!